Bank rates, onwards and upwards…

Something that is interesting is how people are amazed that banks are jacking up interest rates at a time like this… In fact, it is precisely because of the time we are in that they are doing it, and due to the market environment they face.

Banks have a choice at any time as to where they will put the money they hold, their job is to turn liabilities (deposits, debt, equity finance) into assets and at present there is a golden window of opportunity where any decent (almost any) assets can be lodged with the ECB and the ensuing liquidity recycled.

For the most part this has helped to support the bond market, part of the LTRO was based on this premise, but in Ireland while bond yields are attractive (still above 5%) mortgage rates are not as attractive. Currently the standard variable is less than 5% meaning a person can borrow for cheaper than the nation they live in is able to!

That won’t last, the likelihood is that sovereign rates …

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Clawing your way back

I thought it would be interesting to show a small table that outlines the issue with losing money, the figures below show what you have to ‘make back’ to get to break even depending on a certain amount lost.

Loss Return needed to regain original sum -5.00% 5.26% -10.00% 11.11% -20.00% 25.00% -30.00% 42.86% -35.00% 53.85% -40.00% 66.67% -50.00% 100.00%

It’s easy to see that it gets harder to get back to zero the further you fall, the most obvious example being that you need 100% growth to break-even if you lose 50%! Just something to keep in mind as you are investing or weighing up risk in the things you invest in.

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Sunday Business Post: More haste less speed in the mortgage crisis

Angela Keegan of MyHome.ie wrote an opinion piece in the Sunday Business Post yesterday which included some of our firms commentary:

Figures compiled by Karl Deeter at Irish Mortgage Brokers showed that the size of the average first-time buyer mortgage peaked in the first quarter of 2008, at €251,000.

At the moment, the average drawdown is €188,000. According to Deeter, the ‘average mortgage’ from 2008 on a 2.1 per cent tracker costs €1,076 per month. Current TRS is €80 per month, so the net cost is €996.With the new, bigger TRS in the Programme for Government, the TRS will now be €119, resulting in a monthly payment of €957, an extra saving of €39 per month.

Compare that to the new first-time buyers, who will miss out on TRS. If they take out a loan for €188,000 at 4.3 per cent variable, their cost per month is €1,023.With rates likely to push up over 5 per cent, irrespective of the ECB, Deeter believes that, by this time next year, the divergence between the two mortgages could be as much as …

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TV3 Morning Show featureing Irish Mortgage Brokers and MyHome.ie

TV3 The Morning Show with Sybil and Martin from Irish Mortgage Brokers on Vimeo.

We were delighted to feature on TV3’s ‘Morning Show with Sybil and Martin’ on their monthly property slot alongside Angela Keegan from MyHome.ie

In the piece we discussed the property market as well as the financial side of it and how changes to both interest rates and taxation changes could affect buyers in the future.

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Bank cost of funds versus mortgage prices

Eurodollar or LIBOR cost of funds is a common phrase in banking, what does it mean or do though?

Banks borrow short term and lend out long term, they call it ‘maturity transformation’ and in doing so they aim to make a mark up on the money, it’s the same concept that a shop uses in selling cartons of milk, fundamentally the idea is the same.

The LIBOR rate is ‘London interbank offer rate’ and represents the cost of funds for a high quality non-governmental institutional borrower.

To get an idea of the cost of funds (and this is currently speculative because Irish banks don’t get offered funds at Euribor [euro equivalent of Libor]) all you have to do is a simple calculation.

We know that banks tend to use three month money and that means that any calculation will always have the interest rate reduced by multiplying it by 90/360 (3 months = 90 days, and 360 = 1 year [I know that in real life 1 year is 365 days but that small change of 5 days gives …

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KBC move to 90% LTV

This is a very healthy sign for the mortgage market, and in our opinion it could mean that 2010 might mark the low point for credit that we have been watching out for.

In 2009 KBC under-lent, they had €1bn and didn’t lend out anywhere near that, they are also here to stay, and prior to the crisis they had about 1/8th of the market share. The fact that they are rolling out a higher loan to value is a very confident sign that

Banks have a few internal policy tools to control lending 1.    Curtailing the amount of lending – we see that already, mortgage lending is about 85% down from the peak of 40bn p.a. , peak wasn’t exactly a gauge of normal, but half of that would be normal, and even on that basis it’s down 75% – that story still has to play out 2.    Rate increases: this has the same effect as central bank rate increases, it reduces lending and everybody has increased their margins by at least 1% in the last year, you and …

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‘Plan B’ for arrears

There is a strange situation occurring in the Irish property market, arrears are rising rapidly, stock of repossessed homes is on the increase, and yet the number of repossessions is dropping; there is a contradiction in here somewhere.

Per quarter the number of properties being repossessed is dropping, banks are taking back fewer and fewer houses, this would normally be a sign of prosperity, people with jobs and a stable property market would mean that there would be some equity in the property as people pay down debt and are able to afford their payments, but that isn’t the case, quite the opposite, Irish households are heavily indebted and arrears are rapidly rising.

The largest number of properties being taken back is actually that of voluntary surrender (and abandonment), so there is no ‘repossession’ monster lurking in the Irish market because we have decided that we don’t want it to exist, this will come at a cost as we incrementally strip banks of their ability to enforce mortgage contracts.

The stock of property …

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